Mar 31, 2011

Signs of Spring and Some Pretty Things



Ah HA!  I finally found it - the first green sign of Spring and in my backyard no less!






Ah, green!  Love it!



So we were out for a walk and I thought I'd show you some pics, 'cause like I mentioned in the last post, things are a bit busy right now, but I thought I'd share something to keep you all entertained until I can sit down and right a proper post! ;)






I love big sister leading little sister along.  I can't help but smile at the expression on Catherine's face!





Here are a couple of lovely old churches in my neighbourhood.  Grand old things eh!?!  Olivia calls them all castles.  I adore old architecture and our fair city is bursting with beautiful old buildings!














I just love all the care and the detail.  Old buildings are so neat...I'll have to get out one of these days soon to take more photos of some of the amazing places around here!




As for my abode, I think this would make a lovely front door - oh so very humble....!







And continuing in humble doors....I just love this one too....now that's a mud room! ;)









And just because it is quirky and lovely I had to share this next house with you.  I think Victorian architecture is dreamy.  Oh so romantic and lovely....*sigh*







And yet another view...oh, just because I like it so!







And though I found my first sign of fresh Spring green, and yes the house was all sunshiny yellow and rustic red there really wasn't a whole ton o' colour in this post.....barely Spectrum of Light worthy....but it's something.  Spring is so close to bursting out and lavishing us in it's arrays of colour...but until then here's a punch of colour to tide you over! 








Have a great weekend!





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Mar 28, 2011

Cover Me


So I had this brilliant - not necessarily original - idea to sew myself a pretty camera strap cover.  'Cause the one that comes with the camera is...well....not so pretty!?!? 


 
And I feel like a walking advertisement when I wear it...now if I was sponsored by said camera company, I'd be happy to be a walking advertisement....but I'm not...so I made myself a pretty cover!






I made one for my sister-in-law as well, seeing as she was the one who introduced me to my camera and I thought she'd appreciate one too!  'Cause any girl, usually, likes a pretty thing!  So I dug out my sewing machine...dusted it off....and....relearned how to use it.


 



And learned I did!  Not too shabby if I do say so myself!



Then I had this brilliant - and again probably not so original - idea to forget to take a picture of the finished product until I had already put in on the camera....



Well I got a picture of it anyways....but then I realized I forgot to take a picture of the one I made for my sister-in-law....*sigh*....





Truth of the matter is, I don't really 'sew'...I mean I like to and I think about doing it more but my creative mind has given up on the whole measuring and numbers thing and therefore following a pattern seems out of scope for me.  But these pretty pieces were bought pre-cut soooo most of the measuring was done for me - and therefore it was a good introduction or should I say reintroduction to sewing.


 
But I liked it.  I might make more...when I have the time....


On that note....things are a bit crazy busy here right now...I may not post as frequent for the next bit...then again I might...all depends...but when I do I've got some interesting things to tell you!


Until then, God bless!



 

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Mar 21, 2011

Puddles of Fun and My Baby Turns 2

Earlier last week we got out and found some puddles.  The girls got to put their new rubber boots to the test and I got to mess around with the shutter speed on my camera!  It was a win win, situation.


 





 



 




It was good times...the rubber boots acted more as containers for water then protection from water, but the girls were happy just the same! I learned a bit more about my camera and well, it was just nice to be out in warmer weather.





 
This past Sunday was the first day of Spring, it was also my littlest one's Birthday.  That means double the celebratory fun for us!  We actually held her little Birthday get together on the Saturday, with our family Birthday party on the Sunday.  A whole weekend of b-day fun! 


We went dotty, with a Polka Dot theme.




 







There were yummy snacks and good things to enjoy....






...and a little thief; caught in the act.






The girls anxiously awaiting for people to arrive.

Please try to not take note of our incredibly dirty car there in the background.
Maybe a few too many drives in the country?


 
Everyone seemed to have a good time. The food was all eaten up, the wrapping paper torn into bits and the cup cakes thoroughly enjoyed by all!


Our friend's son Tyler.


 
Catherine was a bit overwhelmed by the end of the party.  And as fitting for most two year olds, broke down into tears as we sang "Happy Birthday" to her.  But she did have fun and after a good nights sleep, she was ready for her actual Birthday.





On her actual b-day, the Sunday, it was just our family, just the four of us, though my mom and her husband did stopped by for about an hour.   But other then that it was a quiet family day - complete with a drive in the country, dinner at Swiss Chalet and back home for Birthday cake.  I continued with the polka dot theme in the creation of her cake...and I'm getting a better handle on this fondant stuff...next step - making it myself!





 
It was time for the cake and again she was not so sure about the singing...or maybe it was it the fire....either was she was happy about eating the cake, Olivia too!  And at this point in time I have refrained from eating the left overs for breakfast....  ;)





It was a wonderful weekend.  It's hard to believe that my little girl is growing up so fast and that her sister will be four this summer.  Where does the time go?!?  I am thankful and so blessed!




Happy Birthday Catherine - you are a sweet and loving little girl!







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Mar 16, 2011

I Took the Plunge

That's right, I did it, I took the plunge and bought a DSLR....actually, hubby bought it for me. ;)


 


I couldn't wait...

he wanted to spoil me...

our tax return had come in...

it was on sale...

so it's all good!  ;)










I was worried I would be intimidated by such a machine.  So before I even really picked up the camera, I took half the morning to watch many videos on how to use it's different features, I read through most of the manual, watched more videos and then played around with my new 'friend' ...for quite some time.













I took in as much info as possible, as much as you can with a toddler and a preschooler pining for attention the entire time, and then I think I took something like 400 plus photos in the first 24 hours....and I'm thinking I really like this camera!  I love how no matter the lighting I can capture any moment!  Moments like this...














I love the creative control and as I am growing less and less intimidated by all the photography terms and techniques, I am loving it even more!  It's slowly becoming an extension of me - like I am with a pencil or paint brush...except this is a much more expensive and breakable pencil...


 
 

 










I can't believe the difference!  Now when I take photos I can't wait to upload them, to see them larger, these little works of art....these hundreds of little works of art!   And the ability to capture all those special moments of my girls, crystal clear, that's truly priceless!  Why did I wait so long?!? 













To be honest, I have been in a bit of a creative funk lately.  I blame it on the weather but with Spring on the horizon and this new artistic outlet, I think I may have some serious inspiration and motivation now! It was a big plunge, not a light decision (financially of course) but I really hope to delve more into photography and with the prospect of a near future wedding for my sister-in-law, I may have a good start to build a portfolio.















So bare with me as I relish in my new endeavour and I hope you will enjoy my photos - 'cause I sure love taking 'em!






















Oooo yes, this is gonna be fun!










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Mar 15, 2011

Chick Peas and Kale


I had mentioned last post that I would be sharing two great recipes with you.  Here they are.  These are both super yummy snack foods and super healthy to boot!  Seriously the taste is phenomenal, I can't get enough of either!

First we have roasted chick peas.  I got the inspiration from Rebecca at 4Ever Cooking. (she's no longer blogging, sorry folks)  I've made them a few times now and they are a big hit at my house!

Basically I just open a can of chick peas, drain, rinse and toss them into a bowl.  I give them a good coating of olive oil from my olive oil sprayer and if you don't have one of these - GET ONE!  Seriously they are a staple of good cooking and healthy eating!  Okay where was I....right, spray the chick peas and toss with salt and any spices you might like.  I've done mine with salt, garlic powder and Spanish paprika.  Lay them out on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. 
What I love about these is the endless possibilities to flavour them.  Think, squeezing lime on them and adding some pepper, or add a couple of shakes of steak spice for a BBQ flavour or whatever strikes your fancy.  Experiment and let me know what you and your family like!


Next up is the surprising Kale Chips!

I have to admit I was skeptical when I read the recipe for these, I mean a green leafy vegetable posing as 'chips'....really?  But OH WOW!  These are fabulous...really, REALLY fabulous!

Get a big ol' bunch of kale.  Rip the leaves into pieces, again, coat with olive oil from your sprayer and toss with a bit of kosher salt (or any rock salt will do).  Spread them out on parchment lined cookie sheet (or two, depending on how much you make, they should be a single layer for best results).  Bake for 25-30 minutes at 300 degrees. Don't over cook, they should have the texture of a dried leaf - sounds appetizing, I know, but trust me these are soooo good!
These have to be my favourite munchy food right now...or at least on par with popcorn! ;)  The best part is that they are so loaded with calcium and other goodness, the experts say kale beats out spinach for nutrition! 


So there you go, two great recipes, tried and true, delicious and good for you too!  But really, give them a try and let me know what you think!  I love to hear your variations on them too!




Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8






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Mar 10, 2011

A Week and a Half of Ramblings

Okay, so I don't know what's happened to me. I haven't posted in over a week and every time I sit down to write, I just stare at the screen.  My mind is a whirl and yet not a single thought can formulate. :p

There are a million things happening all at once it seems, not bad necessarily, just busy and mind consuming.  I'm trying my darnedest to get in more devotional time.  I've come to a couple of conclusions in regards to that.  One is that it is a necessity, that I long for it and oh so desperately need to be in the word! AS   MUCH   AS   POSSIBLE!  It fills me up, renews me and I hunger for it more and more! Secondly I have concluded that I have a real struggle getting up for 5:30...real struggle...so I have come to realize that my children are able to entertain themselves for at least half an hour on their own after breakfast and therefore I can get in a devotional later in the morning.  This may mean it is the only time I get into the word but on a really good day, it is extra time! 

So He is changing me daily, I'm learning and growing in so many ways.  I continually pray for His wisdom and for my heart to be in line with His ways.  This will be a life long endeavour but oh so challenging, exciting and fulfilling!

The weather here is blah..blah blah blah...it rains and you think Spring is right around the corner and then the sky opens up and dumps about a ton of snow all around.  Then just as you shovel it all away, some gloomy clouds roll in and the rain comes pouring down again.

I'd like to see the sun and maybe something green soon!?!??

My sister-in-law just got herself a DSLR. 
She let me play with it. 
I just might be in love. 

Remember back in January I thought about getting myself one? (You can read about that here) Then a few weeks and the flu later I felt God telling me to hold off. (More on that here)  I am glad that God had me hold off on that thought.  The timing was wrong, I was able to purchase other things and bless others with the money that would have been put towards a camera then and I'm not sure the one I originally wanted would be the best choice.  After handling my sister-in-law's camera I'm thinking she made a good choice.  She has more disposable income then I and so she was not restricted by cost when she did her research.  It's not a whole lot more then what I had looked at and it has great reviews!

BUT, I'm not jumping in just yet.  I've put it to prayer, as one thing I don't want is to get caught up in wants.  I'm asking God that if it is in His will that He'll show me and that I will find one more budget friendly.  I just can't justify spending that much money.  So though I haven't committed to purchasing one, I have done more research and a new model will be debuting in a few weeks.  That should mean the price on the one I like will be coming down.  Also I have checked out some second had sources and may have a lead on a great camera at an unreal price!  This girl love's a bargain! ;)

Like always we push on in our renos.  Installing a new bathroom floor, drywalling our hallway and hanging closet doors.  That's just the short list for the next week or so! :p  Still de-cluttering...how on earth did we accumulate so much...stuff?  God just keeps asking us to do these things and we do it.  But you know, it feels so good too!

Oh yes, I also have to start thinking about my youngest's Birthday.  She'll be two next weekend! Crazy!  It's hard to go shopping when you've been purging... and truly there isn't a whole lot she needs.  So we'll get her a few things, so will family and friends, I have to make a cake and we'll probably do an open house kinda thing.  We'll keep it simple, I mean she is only two after all.

This means I have to clean the house, doesn't it!?!

Well there you have it, a week and a half of ramblings.  Nothing enlightening, no wisdom, really just rambling.  I promise to have a couple of recipes for you soon, really good ones too! Yesterday we went out and I got rain boots for the girls because even though there is still snow; when the weather turns for the better I'm gonna be ready!  Enough of this winter stuff already, on with Spring!









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